Being True to My Deepest Values

thinking about deepest values on independence pass

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
-Anne Sexton (1928-1974)

A Beautiful Hike

My wife and I were driving in the beautiful Colorado mountains back in late September. For those of you who know Colorado, we were driving over Independence Pass, a stretch of highway between Leadville/Buena Vista and Aspen. Just a few miles below one of the summits, we got out and took about a 7 mile hike to Independence Lake. The air was cool and refreshing. The strain of the trail felt invigorating. The vistas from the saddle above the lake were beautiful, even breathtaking. What I had not known, at first, was that this would be a day to think about my deepest values.

Several times that day, Judy made the comment that we should live our deepest values. “Of course,” I thought. Then my mind would shift to another conversation, even some business problems I was facing back home.

Am I Living My Deepest Values?

But she made the comment just enough that I had to start thinking about what she meant. “Am I not living my values?” “Am I going through the motions or doing what I really want?” “What is most important to me?” … being active … enjoying nature … running … spending time with family …  money (enough, not more) … connection with God … friendship … being present …influencing  … learning … teaching ….

What is important, our deepest values change as we move from one stage of life to another. It was different when I was 20, 35, even 50. I’m older today. Reality has changed. My perspective is shifting. I’d say I’m living my values about 7 on a scale of 10. It’s time to wake up and take stock.

I don’t get enough time in the mountains. Many work days are still 10-12 hours. I read to keep up with my profession but not for pleasure. Friends are people I see in church…. I feel some  changes coming.

What do You Value Most?

What about you?  It’s the end of a year and a great time to stop and reflect. What are your deepest values? How well are you living your values? Are you finding fulfillment as well as success? What changes would you make to better express what is most important in your life?



  1. John Chancellor

    Great food for thought. I think we are all guilty of not living true to our values all the time. I believe most people are guilty of letting others have too much influence on their lives – I know I fall into that pattern from time to time.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Roger Allen

      Thanks, John. It is easy to fall into this pattern. It is important that we step back, look at the big picture and make sure we’re living our priorities.

  2. Jon A

    Definitely need more time in the mountains and running!

    • Roger Allen

      Right. I can handle time in the mountains and running. Best is combining the two.


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